So manufacturers are playing their part and car buyers are coming around – which leaves just one more piece of the jigsaw to be covered: charging infrastructure.
Darren Jukes, leader of industry for industrial products and services at PwC, says: “You need the infrastructure that facilitates widespread charging of these vehicles. It’s all very well for people living in homes where you can park on a drive, plug it in a socket and charge overnight. But if you live in areas where you don’t have off-street parking, those features aren’t available to you.
“So how do we put the infrastructure in place to facilitate charging in those situations – and charging during journeys because not every journey is going to be less than 300 miles. Does intermittent charging work? And how does charging technology develop to the point where it takes broadly the same time to recharge as it does to pull up to a forecourt today and refuel?”
Those are all good questions – and ones that are now being addressed. For example, 40% of households in the UK don’t have off-street parking or a suitable location for a home charger, but four potential solutions have been identified by Natalia Silverstone, previously a senior consultant at charge-point provider Pod Point.
“First, we can use existing parking at locations such as shopping centres and multistorey car parks. Then there are on-street charging options, such as lamppost charging. When EVs become autonomous, they will be able to take themselves off to charge before returning to the owner or user. And finally, changes in vehicle ownership and usership will just change charging locations and the types of charging needed.”
Current EV drivers will also tell you that charging an EV is a lot like charging a mobile phone: you never let the battery get anywhere close to 0% and you take every opportunity you can to top that up, wherever that is.